July 2, 2013

Old Search vs New Search - Your Chance to Submit Feedback

Old Search vs New Search - Your Chance to Submit Feedback
Olive Tree Genealogy was recently invited to participate in a Conference Call with Ancestry.com and a few other bloggers to discuss New Search. It was a very educational call and our input was listened to. We also were given the opportunity to participate in the Product Development Team's ideas for improvements in their Search Engine.

As many of you know there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over Old Search being "replaced" by New Search. Users of Old Search have expressed their displeasure. In my opinion a lot of the complaints stem, not from logic, but from emotional responses to change.

Many of us dislike change. We often have a great deal of time invested in learning a certain way of doing something. When that changes the natural reaction is to be ticked - "all that time and I like how it works!" 

But change is often a GOOD thing! Change can mean we are getting something better or getting something that will ADD to the experience of the old.

I also noticed that many of those objecting to New Search have not given it a fair trial. In fact one user told me that it was the "perception" that New Search would not give the same results or be as "good" as Old Search that had her riled. But perception is not knowledge. By knowledge I mean the knowledge that comes with trying New Search for a period of time and comparing the results with those you obtained with Old Search. I urge those of my readers who are upset about New Search to give it a try, you might find you prefer it!

The Product Team at Ancestry.com also sent me this email which may help alleviate fears of Old Search users. It is important that we all submit feedback as Ancestry.com has requested. This is how we can help the product developers work WITH us for a top-notch experience when we research. 

In an effort to continually improve your experience on Ancestry.com, we are asking for feedback on our search function. Our plan is first to gather feedback from our core users. We will take all of that feedback into account when we are merging the functionality of Old Search and current search into a consolidated search experience.


Many of the recent concerns and comments have cited functionality that actually exists in current search, as well as in old search – specifically:

  1. Our current search experience allows users to view search results as a list of ranked records or as a consolidated list of categories.
  2. Our current search experience allows users to do “Exact Match” searches.
  3. Our current search experience allows users to specify a “Collection Priority” to filter results by country.

Crista Cowan has a great educational video which demonstrates this functionality in the current search experience:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c423yU5Ccs0

We also have a helpful article which does a side-by-side explanation of how to achieve the same types of results with the current search as in Old Search: http://ancestry.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5569/kw/old

Thank you,
The Ancestry.com Product Team

1 comment:

Mariann Regan said...

Thank you for these resources, Louise, and highlight for us this opportunity for feedback. Yes, knowledge over perception!

A clear and level-headed post. It will help the genealogical community.